Very Smooth. In color, Plantation Original Dark Overproof is a bright red-gold, slightly dark like copper beginning to acquire patina. Despite its abundance of alcohol, the rum appears thick in my tasting glass, slowly forming beads at the top of the smear left behind from swirling.
The bouquet is sweet ethanol and vanilla, followed by smoky aromas of overripe banana and mango, caramel, mild nutmeg, unsalted raw almonds and cinnamon. Plantation Original Dark Overproof smells remarkably like bananas flambé. It is similarly volatile, flammable, and intoxicatingly delicious. Diluting with water softens the alcohol attack while enhancing the fruitiness and molasses dunder notes. The initial taste – Wow – it packs a wallop! The high alcohol content delivers the aromatic flavors in a single rush on tongue and palate. It’s much lighter in body than the appearance suggests, the oily look is false, while the finish lasts a long, long, long time.
Plantation Original Dark Overproof from Trinidad is the only overproof rum in Plantation’s portfolio as well as their only rum that is not double aged. All other Plantation rums are aged for a few years in the country where they were distilled, then shipped to France for secondary maturation in used Cognac barrels at the Ferrand estate. However, Original Dark Overproof is aged only once, in used Bourbon barrels. Plantation claims the high alcohol strength of their Overproof rum would otherwise overpower and nullify the delicate changes imparted by the cognac barrels.
Original Dark Overproof commands a unique niche among rums; powerful, aromatic, full of complex flavors that other high-test white rums can’t match, yet lighter bodied than other deep dark overproofs. Plantation Original Dark Overproof is a must-have for serious Tiki cocktail crafters.
Plantation claims it specifically intended Original Dark from Trinidad to be used in popular Tiki cocktails. I put it to the test in a classic Mai Tai, and the results were nothing short of … amazing.
Reviewed: September 2013 at he Rum Gallery, USA